LEGO Dumps Deal Allowing Shell Gas Stations To Hand Out Toy Sets After Campaign Against Arctic Drilling

A shot from Greenpeace's anti-Shell campaign using LEGO blocks.

A shot from Greenpeace’s anti-Shell campaign using LEGO blocks. (YouTube)

Danish toy company LEGO has ditched a deal it had with Shell that allowed the company to hand out toy sets at its gas stations in about 30 countries around the world, after Greenpeace activists launched a campaign against Shell drilling in the Arctic.

Greenpeace’s July video showing an Arctic landscape with happy people and animals get swalloed up in oil ooozing up through a a Shell drilling platform constructed of LEGO bricks put LEGO in the middle of a situation it was surprised to be in, reports the Associated Press.

LEGO CEO Joergen Vig Knudstorp said the protest “may have created misunderstandings among our stakeholders,” saying that the company didn’t want to be tangled up in the environmental campaign, and that LEGO “should never have become part of Greenpeace’s dispute with Shell.”

He says his company urged Greenpeace to talk to Shell directly, but added that the 2011 deal with Shell that gave toy sets to customers who filled up with a minimum of 7.8 gallons of gas would not be renewed when the contract expires. It’s unclear when that will be or how much money is at stake, but said the deal was a long-term promotional contract.

In response, Shell says the partnership has been a success so far and it will continue with its plans to introduce it in more countries. Royal Dutch Shell PLC is planning on drilling in the Arctic coast of Alaska, a plan that was delayed in the last few years due to weather conditions.

Last August, the company filed a new offshore drilling plan for the area, but hasn’t decided whether it’ll start in 2015 or not.

Greenpeace called LEGO’s decision “fantastic news,” saying an oil spill in the Arctic would be a catastrophe for the marine life there.

Fun fact: The word LEGO comes from the combination of Danish words “leg godt,” which means to “play well.”

Lego to Scrap Shell Deal After Protests [Associated Press]

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